The Webb Space Telescope's giant primary mirror, arguably its most critical and difficult part, is approaching completion. The 18-segment mirror stands two stories high and is designed to best capture the infrared light Webb seeks. Follow the mirror's journey from rough ore to precisely reflective, gold-coated segments in this video, which details how the mirrors are constructed and tested.
Keywords: Webb Space Telescope; mirror; astronomy; NASA; infrared
|The Golden Touch: Behind the Webb|
The Webb Telescope's mirrors are coated in an extremely thin film of gold. This gold layer, only a few millionths of an inch thick, enables the mirrors to best reflect the infrared light the telescope seeks. The thinner the layer, the better off the telescope will be -- every bit of weight counts when a telescope as big as Webb is being lifted into space by a rocket. Join us at Quantum Coating in New Jersey, where engineers are vaporizing gold to apply a thin, even layer to the telescope's mirro...
Keywords: Where -- New Jersey; James Webb Space Telescope; astronomy; primary mirror
|The MIRI Has Two Faces|
The James Webb Space Telescope has multiple science instruments, but only one of them, the Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI), sees light in the mid-infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum. MIRI's design, which allows it to both take both images and obtain the scientific data known as spectra, makes it the equivalent of two instruments in one. These dual techniques allow the Webb telescope to study distant objects in greater detail than ever before...
Keywords: MIRI; James Webb Space Telescope; JWST; infrared; astronomy
|On the Wings of Apollo: Behind the Webb|
At Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, a cavernous chamber is being modified for use in testing the Webb Telescope. Environmental testing is part of the myriad of tests Webb must endure to be deemed space-worthy. "Behind the Webb" is a recurring video series from HubbleSite, home of the Hubble Space Telescope and the upcoming Webb Space Telescope. Join host Mary Estacion as she goes behind the scenes to watch the construction and testing of the parts that will make Webb the world's most powe...
Keywords: Where -- Texas; webb space telescope; johnson space center